Govt. eyes increase in social security budget

Govt. eyes increase in social security budget

The government has announced to increase budgetary allocations for the social security in the coming years.

Kenya currently allocates 0.3 of its GDP to offer social protection to vulnerable groups, which government officials say is still inadequate.

State Department of Social Protection Principal Secretary Susan Mochache said the inua jamii program, while it has benefited thousands, needs better budgetary support to ensure equality in the society.

“If you look at the developed countries, they at least commit 15 to 20 percent of their GDP to social security and social welfare. So the future for Kenya actually is to expand social security because right now we are at 0.3 percent. So in terms at sustainable ways of reducing poverty in this country, we have to look at social security growing in years to come,” Ms Mochache said.

The government has over the last one year disbursed Sh23.5 billion under the inua jamii program launched last year.

This has been disbursed to 557,551 beneficiaries who receive Sh2,000 monthly.

The program targets orphans and vulnerable children, older persons and persons with severe disabilities.

During the first year, the government committed Sh29 billion to the program.

The increased budgetary allocation is expected to help tackle poverty in the region and catering for the under-privileged in society and boosting economic growth.

The KCB Group was awarded the contract to disburse money to beneficiaries, earning the bank millions in management fees.

The cash transfers are based on pre-set criteria, and aim at mitigating chronic or shock-induced poverty, address social risks and reduce economic vulnerability. The initiative was created to assist poor people in meeting their basic consumption needs and improve livelihood opportunities.

Ms Mochache said the ministry would work with KCB to open up more centers across the country where beneficiaries can access their funds.

“More needs to be done. We still have a challenge of distance where citizens have to go very a long distance to access a pay point to get their money. So we are working with KCB to see that solutions like mobile money vehicles are deployed on pay days to very remote areas to ease access,” she said.

KCB Group Chief Operating Officer Samuel Makome said the bank is focused on further enhancing the disbursement as part of its resolve to create pathways to financial inclusion for the financial undeserved through products, services, technology, payments and strategic partnerships.

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